THE ART OF PAINTING 143 when my brush touches the paper, it goes as fast as the wind. My spirit sweeps^ all before it, before my brush has reached a point." ^ In his lifetime Su had several portraits made of himself, the most famous ones being those by Cheng Huaili and by the renowned Li Kunglin. In Li's portrait, Su is painted as sitting on a rock with a cane resting in his lap. Huang remarked that this portrait* caught Su 'Tungpo's^expression when he was a little drunk. In this posture one can see him sitting relaxed, pondering over the laws of growth and decay of the material world, while he enjoys the infinite rhythms of nature spread before him. At any moment he may get up, take a brush, dip it in ink, and write out what is there in his breast, either in the beautiful words of a song or in the beautiful rhythms of a painting m a script. Once Tu Chishien came with a good piece of paper and asked Su Tungpo to write something on it, but he suggested the measurements of the script. Tungpo jokingly asked: "Now, am I selling vegetables?" Kang Shihmeng had already, in March 1087, published facsimiles of nine scripts by the two Su brothers. His own friends were among the zealous collectors of his autograph scripts. One evening when his friends were at his home, they were turning over the contents of some of his old trunks. Someone spotted a scrap of paper containing some barely legible script in Su's handwriting. Upon examination it was $Kind to be the manuscript of his hobo rhapsody, called "The Yellow ilud Flat", written "when drunk", while he was in confinement in Huangchow. There were places so blurred that Su could hardly read Jys own writing. Chang Lei made a copy and gave it to Su and kept the original himself. A few days later Su Tungpo received a letter from Prince Wang Shien as follows: "I have been trying ceaselessly day and night to collect your writings. Recently I have obtained two pieces of paper by exchanging three pieces of silk for them. If you have recent manuscripts, you should give them to me and not let me keep on wasting my silks." A collection of facsimiles of some of the most intimate letters of Su Tungpo, Western Tower Scripts, engraved on stone and published as rubbings soon after his death, has survived to this day. These fac- similes are like glimpses of a friend next door. In a postscript to one of the letters he gave his wife's thanks to a friend who had sent her a comb, and in another postscript he said he was sending a pot of pickled pork. It is perhaps easiest to explain Chinese calligraphy by saying that it is really a form of abstract painting. The problems of Chinese calli- graphy and of abstract painting are similar. In judging Chinese calB- * See the reproduction following page 18.